Client: New Zealand Transport Agency
Type of work: Integratedd campaign
Challenge: The initial drug driving campaign run by NZTA had raised awareness of the problem but also highlighted that a large number of kiwis were OK with combining marijuana and driving. Marijuana usage is very prevalent in NZ and the most common drug found in deceased drivers.
Insight: We utilised findings from the previous campaign to inform our creative strategy. We couldn’t come across as prohibitionists, or we’d alienate most drug users immediately. The audience needed to know the ad is for them or they would dismiss it. The language of weed smoking varies greatly, across places, ages and lifestyles so we had to target niche audiences. We can’t show a cliched weed smoker in an advert - even if it’s accurate to some, to others it is a misrepresentative.
Strategy: We removed ourselves from the picture for this phase of the campaign, even removed stoners from the picture. We needed to show stoners through the eyes of others, not directly so there were no chances of misrepresentation. And we needed to use the humour and language of the audience, in realistic scenarios, to disarm them. This was going to be different for each audience. Therefore, this resulted in two quite different scenarios targeting two different audiences aligned to the same strategy. We needed to use independent impartial observers to comment on the target’s behaviour so we didn’t get accused of misrepresenting them ourselves - initially we used children and shop keepers.
Execution: In one scenario, we collaborated with film director Taika Waititi and Māori TV, to create a 2:20 short film targeted at a Māori audience. This focused on children talking about their stoned father's driving behaviours and was named ‘Blazed.’ In the other we worked with a mockumentary director to create content featuring store owners talking about the amusing behaviour of their stoned customers. They weren’t criticising the smokers, they just ended with the store owners wondering if someone that easily confused with simple things - should do something as complicated as drive on our roads. The out take was the same for both scenarios, unsettling the audience, "If I do that when I'm stoned, is it really safe to drive?" Each providing different cultural and scenario queues that would hit their respective audiences at moments of truth.
Results: A small, predominantly above the line paid budget quickly led to 3 million unpaid online views across the two scenarios. The approach was heralded by the audience, worldwide advertising community, for its use of humour to convey a serious message effectively - CopyRanter went as far as saying New Zealand “makes the best PSAs in the world”. Lines such as "my dad get the blazededest" made their way into tweets, hashtags, Facebook posts and eventually onto t-shirts, within the first month. Major news stories across all the major TV networks and newspapers have further amplified the campaign. Most importantly, 90% of the 105,000+ FB shares, Likes, tweets, favorites, retweets were positive.
Cannes Lions 2014 - Gold x2, Silver, Bronze
Axis Awards 2014 - Campaign of the year - 3 Grand Prix, 5 Golds, 2 Silvers, 3 Bronze
Award Australia 2014 - Gold
One Show 2014 - Bronze
Andy Awards 2014 - Gold x 3
NY Festivals Awards 2014 - Gold x 3
NZ Media Awards 2014 - Gold
Best Ads on TV - Best TV of the Week